Commit These HVAC Terms to Memory Before You Talk to an ExpertBeing confused by terms a contractor uses is common, and there is no exception when it comes to HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). The industry is full of jargon (industry specific words) and it is important that you understand what some of these HVAC terms mean before you contact a professional.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

SEER is a rating given to heat pumps and air conditioners to measure their efficiency. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the system is. The minimum required SEER is 13, but a 16 SEER Energy Star qualified unit will help lower your energy bills.

Heating Season Performance Factor

HSPF is a rating of how much electricity a heat pump uses while adding a certain amount of heat to a home. It is a measure of heat efficiency, and a higher number means more efficiency. If you want more efficient home heating, you want a heat pump with an HSPF rating of eight or higher.


Zones allow you to use multiple thermostats to divide your home into different areas for independent heating and cooling in those areas.


Refrigerant is the fluid that runs through heat pumps and air conditioners. Its job is to absorb heat and then release it somewhere else. In the past, Freon was the main refrigerant used. Since Freon contains chlorine, Puron is replacing Freon as a more environmentally friendly refrigerant.


The right size system determines whether your heat pump or air conditioner provide optimal efficiency and comfort. The size of equipment you need for your home is determined by load calculations done by your HVAC professional.


Excess moisture can cause mold growth and damage to your home’s structure. Humidity can also cause your home to feel uncomfortable even when it is cool enough because it can cause your home to feel damp. Using a dehumidifier can help keep the humidity in your home under control.

For more expert information on HVAC terms, contact Around the Clock Air Conditioning and Heating today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Los Angeles, North Hollywood and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC terms and other HVAC topics, downloadour free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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